Local doctor Mike McQueen spoke to students at Fort Rucker Elementary School Feb. 18 during the school’s annual Time to Shine Rally.
For the last three year’s FRES has celebrated the hard work and dedication of its students as they prepare for Terra Nova Week.
“Terra Nova is a nationally-standardized assessment, which is given to students throughout the world,” FRES Principal Vicki Gilmer said. “Fort Rucker Elementary School has continued to receive outstanding scores each year and is consistently high above the national average.”
McQueen, whose father was in the Army, is an FRES alumnus.
He used his experiences in medical school and as a football player at the University of Alabama to inspire the students to, “get ready, get set and go” when it comes time to take their test.
“When I was going to school at Alabama, we spent a lot more time getting ready than we did actually playing the game,” McQueen said. “You’ve been doing the same thing all year for this test.”
McQueen said being ready means studying, but getting set means being ready to perform on the day of the test.
He told the students to get plenty of rest, eat a good breakfast and come to school to take on the Terra Nova with confidence.
“When you finally ‘go,’ you have to have passion,” McQueen said. “You can’t get discouraged. At some point during that test you’ll think, ‘I can’t do this,’ but you have to have the attitude that you can do this, and you have to finish strong.”
McQueen didn’t just encourage the students.
He also spoke directly to the teachers who have prepared the FRES students all year long.
He said he started striving for his dreams in elementary school when a teacher encouraged him to develop a passion for reading.
“There’s somebody in this room who’s going to have a dream that starts right here at Fort Rucker Elementary School because one of you believed in them,” McQueen said. “You’re going to plant a dream. You might see it, but you probably won’t. However, there’s always the one time that one teacher made a difference, just like you will.”
For entertainment, which the Time to Shine Rally is know for, the Encores Show Choir from Enterprise High School gave the students a sneak peak at its competition show.
After their performance, several of the EHS students shared their experiences as children in a military family.
The Fort Rucker Elementary School Band also performed an original number titled “We Got This.”
“Fort Rucker not only receives high scores annually, but (was) also named the second highest ranking of all DODEA schools during the accreditation year 2012-13,” Gilmer said. “The faculty and staff at Fort Rucker Elementary School are dedicated to serving the families that serve our country.”